Holding Pattern

I’ve been in a weight loss stall for a few weeks now. After I lost 23 kilos (about 52 lbs), I’ve been caught in a holding pattern of sorts. I try not to obsess over it or give in to anxiety and doubt. After all, I did this all by myself; I should trust myself that I can actually do more than I think I can. By changing the way I eat and view my food, I have effectively done what my many years of dieting have not been able to do. As such, despite my overwhelming preoccupation with numbers on the scale, I willfully focus on non-scale victories, like finally being able to fit into a dress I’ve been eyeing at Old Navy. I couldn’t fit into a 2XL before, now even an XL has room for me to move! It may be a little thing in the over-all scheme of things, but for someone who’s never been able to shop off the rack, it still is a victory.

I’ve decided to add more exercise to my daily routine to break this stall. Inspired by my friend G (incidentally, she got me started on this wellness journey), I’ve been walking more and moving more. And while I haven’t gained weight, I don’t want to take my hard earned loss for granted. My age and a host of factors associated with years of weight loss and rebound weight gain have made it harder for me to lose the excess pounds. Still, I’m not giving up just yet. I can see the goal post from where I am now. Even if it does take a while, I have the patience to see it through.

In the meantime, allow me to humble brag a bit. The top picture was A❤️ and me more than a year ago. The bottom one is of us today, five months into this new way of eating. A❤️ has lost about 17 kilos since December and I have to say, sometimes, his willpower beats mine, keeping me on my best behavior always. 😉

When I get into a holding pattern, I think I have to keep reminding myself to look at this to see the big picture. 😍 Not bad for old folks, eh?


Fat Woman Changing

Three things happened to me in the year I turned 50.

One, I lost all our temporary help in the household. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise despite the many difficulties it presented, but that is another story for another day.

Two, I lost my hair. For some reason, my hair started falling out in clumps early this year. I was losing so much hair every single day I decided to have my locks cut off into a shorter style. For the first time in a long while, I have above-the-shoulder length hair. I miss my long hair, but I love the ease and comfort of this new wash-and-wear style.

Three, I lost my “body.” Rewrite that to say I lost some heft, emphasis on some and not all of it yet. This is the story of how that came to be.

In February of this year, I got a complete medical check-up courtesy of my HMO. My husband had to make the appointments for me and he badgered me to keep them. The truth was, I was a little hesitant because I knew I had gained even more weight since my last physical. Also, I hate weigh-ins with a passion. I dodged my doctor’s receptionist every time she called me in for a weigh-in. I would run to the bathroom and hide until my turn at the clinic came up. Then too, at the back of my mind, I was worried that there would be some significant changes in my state of health as I had been experiencing more and more health issues of late.

As expected, some of the results came back on the wrong side of normal. Moreover, I was surprised to find that I had tipped the scales at an all-time high. I had to slyly convince the nurse to shave off 3 kilos from my listed weight by claiming that my jeans, oversized shirt, sweater, and thick socks made up those excess 3 kilos. I was fooling myself, of course, because the weighing scale at home (which I had deftly kicked out of sight under my son’s bed) confirmed this astonishing figure. I guess when you’re with a roomful of people ogling at the weighing scale, your dignity takes a dive when the scales tell you you’re the fattest person in the room and everyone knows it.

So there. I am fat. I’ve always been fat. Even when I wasn’t at my heaviest, I was still bigger and fatter than most girls- and boys- my age. When I was younger, I dieted and exercised myself to injury, losing big patches of my hair due to nutritional deficiency and hurting my back for more than year from over-exertion. I never stayed thin for long, though, and the weight rebounded fast and furiously. It didn’t help that in my youth, the boys I liked all preferred me to be thinner. I starved for one boy, literally, eating nothing but lettuce for weeks. He dumped me later for a thin girl. (What a jerk, right?) Another young man I really liked told me “you have everything I want in a girl, except that you’re fat.” That one, he broke my heart.

When A❤️ came along, he didn’t care whether I was fat or thin. He loved me the way I was, period. The pounds piled on more each year, yet it didn’t seem to faze him. With his encouragement, I learned to love myself the way I was, to be comfortable in my own skin and fat, and accept that I could never ever fit into society’s norms of thinness.

Everything in excess, however, takes its toll, and up till a certain weight, I was still active and healthy. The problem began last year when I began getting sicker and weaker. I caught a bug that evolved into a nasty pneumonia. I developed asthma, with painful bouts of air hunger. My knees ached all the time; my back hurt like crazy. My blood sugar hovered precariously in the prediabetic range. My blood pressure seesawed dangerously. I knew it was time to take control of my life again.

I didn’t want to announce this lest I jinx my progress. Besides, I’ve talked about losing weight so many times over the years that I was afraid people would not believe me anymore. Talk about feeling like the boy who cried wolf. Also, to talk about it would be to commit to it with finality and I wasn’t so sure I was ready to commit to it in the early days. Now, I am.

So here I am, telling you and everyone else who’d care to listen that I have lost 21 kilos in the last few months. That’s 46.2 pounds in the English Imperial system. I wore sizes 24 to 26 in the plus size section three months ago, now I fit into a pair of size 18 jeans. Whoa! I haven’t fit in a size 18 in 14 years!

I am still fat, true, and I have quite a way to go. But knowing what I know now- that I can be healthy and “thin” by changing my mindset and way of eating- I am pretty confident that the next time I step on the scales and people ogle at my numbers, I would no longer get that urge to burrow my head in the sand. I look back at that day in February, thinking of how I invented all kinds of excuses to justify my weight- perhaps my shoes were too heavy?– and I smile at the memory. My husband bought me a new weighing scale recently and I have it front and center in the living room. We’ve gotten quite close, really, and I no longer kick it under the couch. 😜

Here’s to this fat woman, and may she never tire of changing.

I’m Six! I’m Six…

Yesterday, I finally took out The weighing scale again. She was dusty and grimy but none the worse for wear. I hadn’t seen her in years, except for that brief moment three weeks ago when I cross-checked her accuracy with the giant body weighing scale at the doctor’s clinic. (She’s still good!) Mind you, I’ve never really liked her one bit- not even when she was clean, pink, and perky. I mean, how could anything pink be terribly, horribly brutal?

I suppose she was happy to see the light of day again, after being swept into the forgotten recesses of my son’s underbed, then purposely forgotten and given up for lost. Dust bunnies aside, I think she was pretty lonely there, the punishment of her proof that I had breached all-new high weight records and gone to all-new lows of self-delusion.

Yesterday, however, was different. I sought her with an apology in mind and a willingness to come clean.”C’mon, pink weighing scale, give it to me straight. I can take it now,” I dared her. And lo and behold, as she creaked and groaned under my weight, she gave me, what seemed to me, her first act of kindness in years.

I have lost six pounds in two weeks!

Photo of a celebration cupcake for pretend eating. *nom nom nom*

I’m six, I’m six less pounds today!

What the…! Oh, my…! Yeah!!! YES!!!

Suddenly, giving up my favorite foods doesn’t hurt as much. Yes, yes, yes!

So today I am celebrating this new relationship and forging a new friendship with the little pink thing that hides under the bed. You’ll be seeing much more of me from now on, little friend. You can count on it.

Palate Pleasure and Penance Pressure

The other day’s fall (see yesterday’s post) reminded me how unfit I have become this past year. Walking, since the weather turned unpredictable and unruly, has become more difficult and thus, sporadic and inconsistent. I have not been given the go-signal by my doctors to indulge in more vigorous sports and aside from occasionally running after Alphonse, the escape artist, I am sorely in need of exercise. 

I’ve drastically reduced my diet to prepare for the coming holidays, forgoing dinners and cutting down on carbohydrates and fats, but sometimes, I can’t escape the lure of sinful pleasures like these. What are these? They’re Krispy Kreme’s original glazed doughnuts. Ohhhh. But see the one with the twist? See those yellow bits? Here’s what it looks like inside: burger patty, mustard, onions and all. (I took out the cheese to cut down on calories, heehee. As if it made a difference, ha!)

This is home made, thus the scrawny looking patty at all. It is definitely far from the original “Luther” burgers with bacon and cheese on top of a succulent, thick burger patty ( or patties) sandwiched between these delightul Krispy Kreme doughnut halves. It was just one of those days when I fell off the wagon of restraint and ended up not regretting it. At least not for a while. It was delicious! Nom nom nom nom nom 🙂

But please don’t show this to my Mom or she’ll kill me.

Unfortunately, I did end up having guilty nights over these sinful pleasures. Last night, I dragged A to the sporting goods store (here’s proof, for you unbelieving mothers out there)

and got him to get me this: Tadah!

We didn’t spring for the more expensive model. I wanted a basic magnetic bike with no frills and no fuss, and chose the least expensive model that felt good on my bum. A wanted to get me the whole works- cardio trainers, spinning bikes, treadmills and all- but I told him I wanted to make sure I’d be serious in keeping this up before we even considered blowing a major hole in the budget. For now, this bike will do. It’s functional, takes up little space, and doesn’t hurt my knees when I use it.

So, happy now, Mom?